wedge shape; flat back, curved front panel; flap closure; open sides with ties; red and blue border; central leaf and berry motif in blue and red

Parfleche, c. 1910

Not on Viewexpand_more

It is unusual for pictorial decoration to appear on rawhide containers; only a few exist that were created in later years. This object shows a chokecherry leaf and berry indicating that the container was possibly used for gathering chokecherries, an important ingredient for preparing food among Plains Indian cultures. The berry was often used in pemmican, a mixture of dried meat, berries, and fat that was easily stored and transported; it provided a significant amount of nutrition for Plains people, particularly in the winter months. In addition, women of some tribes used chokecherry juice to size their rawhide containers, which protected the rawhide from wear and exposure to the elements. The painted design therefore reflects the container's function as well as the elements that went into its creation.

Details
Title
Parfleche
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2004.106.2
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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wedge shape; flat back, curved front panel; flap closure; open sides with ties; red and blue border; central leaf and berry motif in blue and red